REVIEW: Odysseo by Cavalia

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Gallop over to the White Big Top near Opryland for a mesmerizing equestrian phenomenon like no other!

Cavalia presents Odysseo
Aug. 30 – Oct. 1 (All ages)
The White Big Top
2750 Pennington Bend Road, Nashville
866-999-8111 | cavalia.com
Remaining showtimes as follows:
Tuesday, Sept. 12 – Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2 & 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, Sept. 21 & 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sept. 23 & 30 at 2 & 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, Sept. 24 & Oct. 1 at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets:
Adults — $59.50 – $249.50
Ages 13 – 17 — $49.50 – $214.50
Ages 2 – 12 — $44.50 – $199.50

Unless you’ve been living under a rock during the past month or so, you’ve certainly been aware of all the buzz about “the horse show” in town. And if you’ve driven down Briley Parkway near Opryland lately, that massive White Big Top has certainly caught your eye.

That tent, by the way, is the biggest one in the world. Inside, you’ll experience one of the most incredibly beautiful productions you can imagine. It’s Cavalia’s Odysseo. This spectacular theatrical extravaganza features 65 majestic horses along with 50 people sharing the spotlight in the form of riders, acrobats, aerial artists and musicians.

Some refer to it as “Cirque du Soleil with horses.” That’s not far fetched given the show’s creator and artistic director Normand Latourelle from Montreal also co-created Cirque du Soleil. The Vegas-caliber Odysseo is captivating from the start, and it will astonish you and your kids throughout the entire two-hour phenomenon (there’s a 30-minute intermission allotting plenty of time for a restroom break and snacks). The awe-inspiring experience dazzles like no other show featuring a cast of equines.

ODYSSEO IS A SPECTACLE LIKE NO OTHER

The multi-million dollar production features state-of-the-art staging with technology that enhances the overall visual experience. One of the most stunning sequences takes place in the first act. A female trainer shares the spotlight with nine white stallions, all moving about in unison and encircling her upon her command. The gentle harmony between her and the horses is unquestionably intimate and beautiful. And that’s the case with the other horses and their riders as well.

Each rider has his or her own horse that they’ve trained themselves, and those close relationships are clearly evident whether they’re executing a simple trot across the stage, jumping hurdles or engaging in jaw-dropping, high-risk stunts they seamlessly perform.

A few non-horse segments are equally enchanting thanks to the immense talent and dexterity of the cast of aerial artists and back-flipping acrobats. Some of the acrobats rigged with spring stilts achieve massive air while twisting, turning and sailing over hurdles. Kids will go crazy over those feats!

Another lovely scene from act one takes place when a giant carousel descends from the overhead rigging. While slowly spinning on the stage floor, acrobats and aerialists showcase their amazing strength and grace on the poles. It’s one of the night’s most serenely mesmerizing segments. In act two, there’s a scene that looks like a live carousel. Four horses and their riders trot about in a circular pattern while four ladies soar through the air above in the same direction while demonstrating amazing aerial silk skills — GORGEOUS!

MAKING A SPLASH!

While the entire night is stunning without a hitch in the giddy up, Cavalia saves the most majestic moment for last in Odysseo. As the front of the stage floor begins to fill with water, a lady sits upon a horse at the back of the stage (which is raised to look like a hill against the backdrop projection). They are silhouetted against the backdrop as the horse begins “dancing” to the music. The waterfall projection coming down the stage leads horse and rider to the pool of actual water that’s a few inches deep.

It’s breathtaking to watch the elegance of the white horse splashing through the water through an intricately choreographed sequence leading up to the grand finale. All the other horses and riders make a splash when taking their turns galloping through the pond, giving the audience one last hurrah.

Cavalia’s Odysseo is definitely worth every cent of its ticket price. If you have horse-loving children, this production will assuredly enthrall them like nothing else they’ve ever seen.

One word of advice, however. Traffic backs up at exit 112 off Briley Parkway where you get off to access the White Big Top. Leave home early so you don’t wind up sitting on the exit ramp for 20-plus minutes. Aiming to be at the event an hour before showtime is a good idea for adequate time to park and have a chance to look around inside before the show.

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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